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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 July 25 - 31  > Unionized non-regular workers win victory in labor tribunal
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2007 July 25 - 31 [LABOR]

Unionized non-regular workers win victory in labor tribunal

July 25, 2007
Non-regular women workers in their 20s and 30s that were demanding a retraction of their dismissals by a cellphone sales company won a victory on July 24 in the labor tribunal under the jurisdiction of the Sapporo District Court.

On May 16, former president of Northtec Telecom, a Sapporo City-based mobile phone retailer, was arrested on suspicion of being involved in insider trading. The company on the following day announced that it would close its shop in the city and dismiss 60 contract employees working there in return for severance pay of 50,000 yen each.

Angered by the sudden dismissal and the low severance pay, some of those women contract workers joined the local union “Yui (ties)” which had been established two years earlier with the strong support of the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren)-affiliated Sapporo District Council of Trade Unions.

Having failed to reach agreement with the company through three collective bargaining sessions, 10 union members took the case to the labor tribunal.

In the settlement, the company agreed to retract their dismissals, and the plaintiffs agreed to retire from the company, since the shop was already closed. The company also promised to pay each of them a lump sum of 1.2 million yen on average as well as a retirement allowance.

Kimura Shunji, secretary of “Yui”, said, “It took only two months to win the victory since the foundation of the union branch. I believe that the company felt considerable social pressure because more and more non-regular workers have come to join labor unions to wage struggles and they have won the support of the public.”

Tanaka Kaori, a 22-year-old union member, expressed her appreciation to supporters, saying, “I have realized the importance of expressing our opinions when we are treated unreasonably.” - Akahata, July 25, 2007
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